January 2022
Transformative Tools

Gathering of Leaders and the Power of Networks

The Episcopal faith is lived out in community, through relationships and connections. We believe that where two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, he is in our midst and we are doing his work in the world. This is true for all the faithful and is especially important for leaders as they discern God’s call to build the kingdom.

Gathering of Leaders (GOL) is a network of creative, entrepreneurial, proven leaders in the Episcopal church. Through our focus on peer learning we are dedicated to church growth in both numbers and spiritual growth. Our participants are local and national leaders who connect and collaborate through our Gatherings and tools.

Jesus didn't do ministry alone. The first thing he did was build a crew. When he sent out the 72, he did not send them alone; rather, in pairs. Excellent ministry is not done by a lone wolf but by a pack. Being in a network like GOL is essential for excellent ministry. – the Rev. Jason Emerson, Rector, Church of the Nativity, Ringgold, Georgia (GOL since 2016)

An expanding network built to grow the Church

The purpose of the Gathering of Leaders is to assist in the empowerment, support and development of such leaders. To this end, the Gathering provides a place for leaders to come together without contentiousness and partisanship:

  • to share their love of the Christ and of the Church
  • to empower each other through mutual encouragement
  • to deepen their skills as transformational leaders
  • to establish networks which will aid their ministries
  • and to clarify their understanding of God’s emerging vision for the renewed Episcopal Church

It's easy to get trapped in our own habits of thought. GOL provides an opportunity for the kind of deep dialogue which can break me out of stale patterns, with exactly the kind of creative peers whose own work can inspire me. – the Rev. Dr. Deborah Meister, Associate Priest, Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal, Canada (GOL since 2018)

Thanks to a recent grant from Trinity Wall Street, GOL is adding additional networks of leaders beyond our original focus on clergy. We recognize that there are creative, hope-filled leaders in all orders of ministry who can benefit from and bring value to the deep conversation and connection within GOL.

It is deeply encouraging listening to colleagues share the good work of ministry happening all across the Church and in particular, within the local congregational matrix and landscape bringing the Gospel of Christ alive in new, exciting, inspiring and vibrant ways. – the Rev. Dr. Allen Robinson, Rector, Grace Church, Brooklyn, New York (GOL since 2019)

Ready to share and learn with others?

If you feel moved to be considered for Gathering of Leaders, there are several ways to inquire:

And there are other networks to consider. There are numerous networks supporting the Episcopal Church that, depending on your call to ministry, may be of value to you. Below is a selection of other networks:

Haley Bankey is the Executive Director for Gathering of Leaders and serves as a Program Director for Networks at the Episcopal Church Foundation. Prior to working with GOL, Haley served as the Director of Operations and Management for her home parish of St. George Church and School in San Antonio, Texas, and ran her own faith-based operations consulting company. She is also a graduate of the College for Congregational Development. Haley grew up in the Episcopal church in the Middle East and brings an international perspective to her work. Her passion is equipping lay and clergy leaders alike through leadership training and community building to grow God's church into the future. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband and two wonderful daughters.


This article is part of the January 2022 Vestry Papers issue on Transformative Tools